Kildare Ladies Senior Football League Div3:
Na Fianna 4:05
By Robert Cox
I am sorry to all you avid supporters of my weekly report on the Kilcock Ladies league games for both the delay in getting this particular one out to you and for the nature of it. This week will be a bit different and will have to be a quick summary of the game rather than my usual long, detailed report. ”Thank God”, I hear some of you say, ”he wont be boring us with his rambling on”. My reason for that is because on Tuesday night just past, yours truly had to take to the line to over see the ladies in place of the absent Shane Stone. Stone was away due to work committments and I had to take the reigns along with assistant manager Seamus Kane, I was happy to do so and it helped me re-live my former times at the helm but it did hamper my usual job as statatician/reporter. There I usually took a back seat and could take everything in and do a write up on the game but with the pressures involved in managing the side, I had to hand the job of taking the scores over to Nicky O’Connor for the night. My thanks go out to Nicky for without his help I would not have been able to give you the scorers. So now I am rambling. I will get on with my summary of the game.
Kilcock travelled to Ballyteague to take on a Na Fianna side that they had defeated by ten points in an earlier round but it is amazing what a few weeks can do as the home side were a team out for revenge and though Kilcock were short a few first choice regulars, they still fielded a strong side on the night. Na Fianna for their part only made two changes to the team that lost on that wet night in Kilcock on the 24th of April. The main change saw Niamh Quinn move from centre back to centre forward, where she caused trouble throughout for the Kilcock defence. When referee Garryowen McMahon got the game under way at a sun-drenched Ballyteague, full forward Noelle Conlon kicked Kilcock into an early lead with a fine point after two minutes but that early joy was to be short lived as the ever dangerous Micaela McKenna got the ball forty yards from goal, out on the wing, beat her player and blasted the ball to the roof of the net for the Allenwood/Ballyteague combination. McKenna added a point soon after in between points for Louise Keane and Emma Robinson(2) for Kilcock. The latter with a trademark fisted point to leave the side level after fifteen minutes. Na Fianna again though hit back with the hammer blow of a goal, this time through Niamh Quinn before McKenna rounded off the scoring for the home side in the opening period with a well taken point. Conlon kept Kilcock in the game just before the whistle when she pointed after a great solo run in which she beat three players. That left the visitors trailing by three points at the break and me with the task of lifting their morale for the second half.
Half Time Score: Na Fianna 2:02 Kilcock 0:05
Lifting a side that has conceded two goals against the run of play having dominated most of the posession stats can be difficult but it is made all the more easier when you are dealing with a bunch of girls with the determination and never say die attitude that this Kilcock side show at times and they needed to show every inch of that attitude in the second half on Tuesday night because Na Fianna came roaring out of the blocks for the first fifteen minutes of the second half, a fifteen minutes in which they scored 2:02 without response and made it almost impossible for the girls in green and gold to come back. Mckenna again hit the back of the net after she lost her marker and finished high to the corner of the net, she has to be commended for her finishing when through on goal and there was nothing goalie Eimear Kelly could have done for any of the goals. Her defence in front of her were caught napping a couple of times but they were not disgraced either, they just came up against a faster team on the night and a team that seemed to adapt better to the soaring temperatures. Midfielder Aoife Jacob got her name on the score sheet with a point and so to did substitute Emma Dunne before Quinn got her second and Na Fianna’s fourth goal of the night. At this stage, either Na Fianna sat back and rested on their laurels or Kilcock finally woke up to my shouting, I think it was definitely the latter. As I said earlier, this team never give up and even though they were eleven points down, they kept at it and began to eat into the hosts lead, thanks mainly in part to Caoimhe Fagan and Shona Cagney pushing them on from midfield and centre back respectively. It was visible to see that Fagan ran herself into the ground for the cause but one swallow never made a summer so praise must go to her team mates for their attitude too. Conlon started the comeback, aided by sub Caithlin Ni Mhuiricu as they both raised the white flag. Centre forward Sheena Byrne got a brace of points that her hard work deserved on the 50th and 53rd minute but it was goals that were going to be needed to make the comeback complete, alas for all their pressure and endeavour, they just could not find the net, with Emma Robinson, Ni Mhuiricu and full back Fiona Campion all pointing instead. That was as close as Kilcock were to get to Na Fianna though and the home side broke down the field for an insurance point with seconds remaining. Doubt still remains whether an effort crossed the line at the end which would have given Na Fianna another goal but the dubious goals committee will have to take a look at that one. In the end it made no difference to the outcome as Na Fianna ran out deserving winners by five points.
Best for the winners were Nicole Carroll in defence and Aoife Jacob in midfield while it was upfront where they showed their true class with Danielle McDonald, Niamh Quinn and player of the game Micaela McKenna a constant thorn in Kilcock’s side. For Kilcock, goalkeeper Eimear Kelly, despite the concession of four goals, had a fine game, in fact it could have been seven or eight had it not been for her bravery at times. And in the last ten minutes she acted as a sweeper as her side attacked in droves. At the back the girls had a difficult night all round but Orla Cagney can be proud of her battle with McKenna, while her sister Shona drove her team on when their heads were down. Caoimhe Fagan never gave up in midfield alongside Aisling O’Connor, who herself shored things up at the back when moved there late on. Noelle Conlon and Sheena Byrne were the best of the forwards on the night with five points between them but it is back to the training ground for Stone’s side as they re-group for next week v Robert Emmets.
Full Time Score: Na Fianna 4:05 Kilcock 0:12
Noelle Conlon 0:03
Emma Robinson 0:03
Sheena Byrne 0:02
Caithlin Ni Mhuiricu 0:02
Louise Keane 0:01
Fiona Campion 0:01
Na Fianna Scorers:
Micaela McKenna 2:02
Niamh Quinn 2:00
Emma Dunne 0:02
Aoife Jacob 0:01
6:Shona Cagney (c)
Aoife Divily for Louise Keane
Caithlin Ni Mhuiricu for Jennifer Fagan
Louise Keane for Aoife Divily
Na Fianna Team:
15:Julie Ann Boland
Wide Count: Kilcock (13 in total)
Player Of The Game: Micaela McKenna (Na Fianna) + Caoimhe Fagan (Kilcock)